Tax Alerts
Tax Briefing(s)

There is good news to offer in the form of an enhanced child tax credit.  Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the child tax credit has doubled, increased the refundable portion, and expanded its scope to include dependents other than qualified children.  In addition, the TCJA broadened the pool of taxpayers eligible for the credit by significantly increasing adjusted-gross-income (AGI) phaseout ranges.  The following is an overview of the eligibility requirements and other changes to the child tax credit effective for tax years 2018 through 2025:


As you go about your daily life conducting business online, hackers are in the wings waiting to pounce and exploit one innocent miss-click, mistake or mismanagement of company data. Turning a blind eye or being in denial of the realities of cybercrime and data breaches can destroy your company’s brand and reputation. You must continually work toward protecting your business from cybercrime and you must monitor your systems and process 24/7 without fail.


In general, the new tax Act provides for stricter limits on the deductibility of business meals and entertainment expenses. Under the Act entertainment expenses incurred or paid after December 31, 2017 are nondeductible unless they fall under specific exceptions. One of those exceptions is for “expenses for recreation, social, or similar activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees, other than highly compensated employees.” (i.e. office holiday parties are still deductible). Business meals provided for the convenience of the employer are now only 50% deductible whereas before the Act they were fully deductible. Barring further action by Congress those meals will be nondeductible after 2025.


The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum permissible allocation under a defined contribution plan is $55,000. The maximum amount of annual compensation that may be taken into account on behalf of any participant under a qualified defined contribution plan is $275,000.

The 2018 limit on the maximum amount of elective contributions that a person may make in to a §401(k) plan, a §403(b) tax-sheltered annuity or a §457(b) eligible deferred compensation is $18,500. The limit on "catch-up contributions" for persons age 50 and older is $6,000.

The 2018 dollar limit on the maximum annual benefit under a defined benefit plan is $220,000.


As the school year ends, summer vacation offers parents and students alike the opportunity to focus on what may be their most considered subject: PAYING FOR COLLEGE. Many families commit unforced errors in their efforts to save and pay for hefty tuition bills.

Among the traps people fall into are:

  • Obsessing about school choice;
  • Thinking it isn’t worth it to apply for aid or scholarships; and
  • Not considering “529” college-savings plans.

States have become quicker to declare assets “abandoned” when account owners lose touch with a financial institution.  Although state laws vary, assets may be determined abandoned if the account owner has not made contact with the institution for three to five years.  These accounts consist of refunds, bank accounts, insurance proceeds and recovered goods, including cash, stock, bonds and other items that may belong to you. 


IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has asked companies to report patterns of fraud and for tax preparation firms to team up to fight return fraud.  Criminals are using stolen identities to claim refunds.


The Washingtonian has recognized Dalbert B. Ginsberg as one of the Washington Metropolitan area top Tax Accountants based on a survey of financial professionals and research conducted by the magazine.


Tax-Related Portion of the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, Enrolled, as Signed by the President on October 24, 2018, P.L. 115-271


Congressional Republicans are looking to move forward with certain legislative tax efforts during Congress’s lame-duck session. The House’s top tax writer, who will hand the reins to Democrats next year, has reportedly outlined several tax measures that will be a priority when lawmakers return to Washington, D.C., during the week of November 12. However, President Donald Trump’s recently touted 10-percent middle-income tax cut does not appear to be one of them.


The Senate Finance Committee’s (SFC) top ranking Democrat has introduced a bill to restore a retirement savings program known as myRA that was terminated by Treasury last year. The myRA program was created by former President Obama through an Executive Order.


A new, 10 percent middle-income tax cut is conditionally expected to be advanced in 2019, according to the House’s top tax writer. This timeline, although largely already expected on Capitol Hill, departs sharply from President Donald Trump’s original prediction that the measure would surface by November.


IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig gave his first speech since being confirmed as the 49th chief of the Service at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) November 13 National Tax Conference in Washington, D.C. "You’re going to see things [I do] and go, ‘I can’t believe he did that,’" Rettig said.


The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation are urging the IRS to make extensive changes to proposed "transition tax" rules.


Last year’s tax reform created a new Opportunity Zone program, which offers qualifying investors certain tax incentives aimed to spur investment in economically distressed areas. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has predicted that the Opportunity Zone program will create $100 billion in private capital that will be invested in designated opportunity zones.


The IRS is expected to soon release proposed regulations for tax reform’s new business interest limitation. "They are so broad that nearly every domestic taxpayer will be impacted," Daniel G. Strickland, an associate at Eversheds Sutherland, told Wolters Kluwer.